Teaneck Creek Conservancy (TCC) volunteering updates -- part one, 02-10-2020

Welcome everyone!

For the original Forum post, see here.

Thank you for your interest. I can promise to post highly irregularly, but if I have an active audience ;) I'll try to be more consistent about updating you all.
I also welcome any advice you have to give.

I wasn't able to do the water monitoring today because the shed was locked and we haven't picked a new spot for the key. Focused on weeding.

Although several voices were skeptical about our ability to successfully excise invasives, I've always been a little overly ambitious so I'm going to do the best I can!
I also recall some people saying that cutting the R. japonica plants wasn't really necessary, but I find it cathartic and good exercise.

Today I worked mostly on Ampelopsis glandulosa. Unfortunately most of it has already set fruit, but I figure its removal from areas where native species are still present will gives the natives a little extra breathing room.
Because nothing good in life is allowed to be easy, there was also some Vitis mixed in which slowed me down considerably. A. glandulosa is notorious, but I didn't find Vitis anywhere on a NJ invasive species list so I had to leave it. I can easily tell apart larger or fruiting plants, but I still have to work on distinguishing young tendrils.

I've been sticking to drier areas so far, but a lot of the area is wetland. I don't mind wading through thigh-high muddy water. But it means getting my boots and pants soaked and covered in mud.
I suppose I can let the pants dry out and just wear them repeatedly until they're properly filthy. I only have three good pairs right now, though, and none of them are really durable enough for long term regular fieldwork. Might want to get more.
The boots are another issue. They look roughly like this. They're great for dry areas (such as 95%+ of Israel), but the mesh on the sides lets in water after a little while. I'd prefer my feet stay dry if such a thing is even possible.

Anyone have ideas or advice? I have the budget for getting some new kit, as I consider it a long term investment.

Not sure what else to say. Questions welcome!

For the next post, see here.

I'm only a volunteer, nothing I say should be construed as an official statement. Everything is my personal opinion.

Posted on 02 October, 2020 17:58 by astra_the_dragon astra_the_dragon


Photos / Sounds


Japanese Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica)




September 27, 2020 09:47 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds


Porcelain Berry (Ampelopsis glandulosa)




October 2, 2020 12:14 PM EDT


Re "some people saying that cutting the R. japonica plants wasn't really necessary, but I find it cathartic and good exercise." I find the same, but have learned that unless and until you know the effect of removing it...try a very samll area of such intensive removal, and watch for a year...you can't consider the possible negative results for the haabitat...dessication, erosion, new or increased alternate weed invasions...so I now find other outlets for the big energy...eg extending the area of restoration, or adding another one. And keep monitoring and doing finer, more selective weeding in the first site while learning to identify and recognise the needs and habit of the existing natives and those that arise.

I think its great that you are keeping this Journal, ie looking after one place.

Posted by kaipatiki_naturew... over 3 years ago

It is really so exciting to see the beginning work you are doing in this critical and environmentally important project. I am eager to hear more about it in person! It will be amazing, because you are starting at the beginning of this year long project. However, I am missing my times at this invasively congested Teaneck Creek Conservancy, or, "Puffin" as it is commonly known. I have found that amidst these increasingly invasive areas, there are treasures. Lucky for us, without the invasives here, how many more treasures there will be!

Posted by sadawolk over 3 years ago

Thanks for the comments, both of you.
I'll keep a record of what I've done in my field journal / records, as well as notes on progress in areas I've worked on (and areas I haven't, for a control of sorts). I am quite new to all this, so I appreciate the suggestions of what to look out for.
Among other things, I know that many birds feed on A. glandulosa fruit. For this reason, I'd be hesitant to remove too much too quickly, especially if there isn't a food plant being used to replace it.
I will also be spending time learning as many species as I can. I moved back to America only two months ago. When I got here I could identify perhaps 15% of local plant species to Genus or better. Now I think I'm closer to 30% -- still a very long way to go!
FYI @kaipatiki_naturewatch I'm only looking after a small part of the larger Conservancy. The larger part is undergoing a professional restoration and is closed not only to the public but to volunteers and most staff.

Posted by astra_the_dragon over 3 years ago

Good point about the bird food.
Thanks again for the Journal. I am a world away in NZ, and I dont know of anyone other than me doing that, but I think it is vital. I always find it impossible to remember what I did and how things looked before.
And it will be interesting to folow you..even though I dont know a single plant you have named:)

Posted by kaipatiki_naturew... over 3 years ago

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